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Baystate Health is offering COVID-19 antibody treatment to eligible patients

Monoclonal antibodies mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses. We're using them to treat COVID-19.

Monoclonal Antibody Treatment for COVID-19

COVID-19 > Treatments

A New Treatment Option for COVID-19

Patients recently diagnosed with COVID-19 have a new treatment option: Bamlanivimab or the combination of casirivimab and imdevimab (REGEN-CoV2). We are currently offering this treatment to eligible patients by referral.

The research so far shows that for certain people, this treatment may help their symptoms improve sooner and might make it less likely for them to need to go to the hospital. These are new drugs that are still being studied. They have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA based on limited phase II study data that showed monoclonal antibody treatment may decrease ED visit or hospitalization.

Eligible patients should be treated as soon as possible (ideally within 3 days from date of specimen collection of a positive SARS CoV2 PCR) and within 10 days from the first day of onset of symptoms.

Eligibility and Treatment

Eligibility

We will base treatment decisions on guidelines from the FDA EUA and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Providers may refer patients for treatment based on the following eligibility criteria.

Eligible patients are:

  • Adults and children (≥12 years old) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing
  • At least 40 kg (about 88 pounds)
  • At high risk for hospitalization or severe COVID-19 illness

How is "high risk" defined?

High risk patients must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have a body mass index (BMI) ≥35
  • Have chronic kidney disease
  • Have diabetes mellitus
  • Have immunosuppressive disease
  • Are currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment
  • Are at least 65 years old
  • Are at least 55 years of age AND have cardiovascular disease, or hypertension, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/other chronic respiratory disease
  • Are 12 – 17 years of age AND have a BMI ≥85th percentile for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts, or one of the following:
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Congenital or acquired heart disease
    • Neurodevelopmental disorders, for example, cerebral palsy
    • A medical-related technological dependence, for example, tracheostomy
    • Gastrostomy, or positive pressure ventilation (not related to COVID-19)
    • Asthma, reactive airway or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medication for control.

    Please note: In the event that there are more eligible candidates than drug supply or infusion spots, Baystate Health will use a fair lottery system to choose patients, based on DPH guidance.

    Who is not eligible?

  • Patients hospitalized due to COVID-19
  • Patients who require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19
  • Patients who require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19 in those on chronic oxygen therapy due to underlying non-COVID-19 related comorbidity
  • Patients who have known allergies to histidine, sucrose and polysorbate-80 (ingredients used with bamlanivimab and REGEN-COV2) should not receive this treatment.

Refer a Patient

If you believe your patient is eligible and the patient agrees to be considered for this treatment, there are two ways to make the referral:

1. If you are a Baystate Health network provider: Send a CIS message to the “Covid Monoclonal Antibody Coordinator” pool with the necessary patient information including the date of the positive SARS CoV2 PCR test and when the first day of symptoms started .

2. If you are a provider from outside of the Baystate Health network: Please call 413-795-0566.

If you are a patient interested in this treatment: Please talk to your healthcare provider.

Before Your Appointment

COVID-19 Safety

  • You must come to treatment alone (no visitors are allowed).
  • You will be required to wear a face mask throughout your time here. We will provide you with a mask and hand sanitizer when you arrive.
  • You will need to stay in the treatment unit for your entire visit.

We’re taking extra precautions throughout Baystate Health – learn more.

What to Expect

Please arrive at least 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. Arriving ahead of your appointment will allow you time for parking and following admission protocols.

You will be here for about 3.5 to 4 hours. As you do not know how you will feel after the treatment, please arrange to be picked up promptly at the end of your appointment in case you cannot drive vehicle yourself. We will let you know what time to expect to leave during your treatment.

Please let us know if you need an interpreter before you get here. 

What to Bring

Please eat a meal before you arrive, and bring:

  • Current medications
  • Reading glasses
  • Hearing aids
  • Cell phone

Pre-Arrival Checklist

For more information, please download our pre-arrival checklist:

Treatment Day

mab patient entrance

Where to Go

Baystate Medical Center Infection Control Treatment Unit
759 Chestnut Street
Springfield, MA 01199
413-794-3156

When You Arrive for Treatment  

Parking

Please park in the Daly Surface Lot across from the Daly 3B Observation Unit (small parking lot, ground level). The door in this photo is the entrance to the unit.

When you arrive, please call the treatment unit from your car at 413-794-3156. We will escort you inside.

Check-In

When you arrive, our team will review the medication infusion details with you. The FDA requires all patients to read the fact sheet about your treatment (either bamlanivimab or casirimivab / imdevimab) before we begin. Please read the fact sheet before your scheduled appointment if you can. Before your treatment begins, you will also need to agree to the procedure by providing Informed Consent.

During Infusion

To start the treatment, a provider will place an intravenous catheter (IV) for medication infusion. During and immediately after the infusion, we will monitor your blood pressure and vital signs.

During the 3.5 to 4 hour period, you will need to stay in the infusion suite and will not have access to walk around the hospital.

Every patient is escorted in, undergoes treatment, and is escorted out in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There will be a total of 2 patients per infusion suite.

Call us at 413-794-3156 if you have any questions or concerns.

FAQ

What is the medication used for monoclonal antibody therapy?

Bamlanivimab and the casirivimab/imdevimab antibody cocktail are all man-made monoclonal antibodies that have been authorized for treatment of recently diagnosed, mild to moderate COVID-19 patients with high-risk of progressive disease.

Exactly how does this medication work?

An antibody is a protein that the body makes to fight off harmful substances (antigens) like viruses. Made in laboratories, monoclonal antibodies can mimic the human immune system’s response to fight an infection.

The monoclonal antibodies for treating COVID-19 (bamlanivimab and casirivimab / imdevimab antibody cocktail) can stop the virus that causes COVID-19 by blocking viral attachment and entry into human cells. These three medicines are specifically directed against the spike protein of SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19).

Monoclonal antibody therapy is given through an infusion (through a vein) at the Infection Control and Treatment Unit at Baystate Medical Center. Casirivimab and imdevimab must be given together, while bamlanivimab is given by itself.

What will this medication do for me?

Monoclonal antibody treatment can keep certain patients from becoming severely ill from COVID-19.

Limited clinical trial data showed that bamlanivimab and casirivimab/ imdevimab antibody cocktail decreased hospitalizations and ER visits on COVID-19 patients with risk factors for progressive disease.

What are the possible side effects?

The potential side effects of getting any medicine by vein may include brief pain, bleeding, bruising of the skin, soreness, swelling, and possible infection at the injection site.

The following are the side effects of bamlanivimab and casirivimab / imdevimab that clinical trial participants experienced . The list may not include all the side effects as these therapies are still being studied and we may not know all the risks at this time.

Bamlanivimab:
The most commonly reported (in 2-4% of subjects) adverse events were nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, pruritus (itching), and vomiting.
Read the FDA fact sheet.

Casirivimab/ imdevimab:
The most common side effects were nausea and vomiting, hyperglycemia, and pneumonia.
Read the FDA fact sheet.

According to the FDA, allergic reactions can happen during or after infusion. Patients should tell their healthcare provider right away if they have any signs or symptoms of allergic reaction (fever, chills, low blood pressure, changes in heartbeat, shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling of your lips, face, or throat, rash including hives, itching, headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, muscle aches, dizziness and shivering).

If I’m not having many symptoms, should I get this treatment?

Monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 is only authorized to be used to treat patients with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19. Please talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 or treatment options.

Can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine if I was treated with COVID-19 monoclonal antibody?

Based on current CDC recommendations, COVID-19 vaccination should be deferred for at least 90 days based on the low risk of COVID-19 reinfection and the estimated half-life of the monoclonal antibodies.

What should I do when I arrive at the parking lot for my infusion appointment?

Please park in the Daly Surface Lot across from the Daly 3B Observation Unit. This is a small parking lot on the ground level. After you park, call the treatment unit at 413-794-3156. We will escort you inside. This photo shows the entrance to the unit:

mab patient entrance